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UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE INTERNATIONAL EXAMINATIONS
GCE Ordinary Level

MARK SCHEME for the May/June 2008 question paper

2010 LITERATURE IN ENGLISH
2010/01

Paper 1, maximum raw mark 80

This mark scheme is published as an aid to teachers and candidates, to indicate the requirements of
the examination. It shows the basis on which Examiners were instructed to award marks. It does not
indicate the details of the discussions that took place at an Examiners’ meeting before marking began.
All Examiners are instructed that alternative correct answers and unexpected approaches in
candidates’ scripts must be given marks that fairly reflect the relevant knowledge and skills
demonstrated.
Mark schemes must be read in conjunction with the question papers and the report on the
examination.



CIE will not enter into discussions or correspondence in connection with these mark schemes.

CIE is publishing the mark schemes for the May/June 2008 question papers for most IGCSE, GCE
Advanced Level and Advanced Subsidiary Level syllabuses and some Ordinary Level syllabuses.

Page 2

Mark Scheme
GCE O LEVEL – May/June 2008

Syllabus
2010

Paper
01

General Descriptors
The general descriptors are an attempt to guide examiners to an understanding of the qualities
normally expected of, or ‘typical’ of work in the band. They must not be interpreted as hurdle
statements, and form a means of general guidance. Photostats taken from work produced in the
examination will be the principal means by which we shall standardise the marking.
A. Descriptors for essay/passage-based tasks
0–1
2–3

4–5

6–8

9–11

12–14

15–17

18–20

The answer does not meet the criteria for a mark in the next band.
Candidates will –
show a little awareness of…
make some comment about…
Candidates will –
make a few straightforward points about…
show a few signs of understanding…
make a little reference to aspects of the text…
make simple personal response to…
Candidates will –
make some relevant comment about…
show some understanding of…
with a little support from the text/reference to language.
Candidates will –
begin to develop a response…
show understanding of …
with some detail from the text/reference to language.
Candidates will –
make a reasonably sustained/extended response…
show understanding of…
show some thoroughness in use of text for support.
make some response to the way language works.
Candidates will –
make a convincing response…
show clear, sustained understanding of…
make careful and relevant reference to the text.
respond with some thoroughness/detail to the way language works.
Candidates will –
sustain a perceptive, convincing response…
demonstrate clear critical/analytical understanding.
show some originality of thought.
make much well-selected reference to the text.
respond sensitively and in detail to the way language works.
The very best will achieve all the above, with flair, imagination
and sophistication in addition.

© UCLES 2008

Page 3

Mark Scheme
GCE O LEVEL – May/June 2008

Syllabus
2010

Paper
01

B. Descriptors for Empathic Questions (imaginative/creative tasks)
There are three key elements to be looked for in responses to these questions:
• sound knowledge of what happens in the text
• an understanding/interpretation of this
• the use of an authentic voice or voices
0–1
2–3
4–5
6–8

9–11

12–14

15–17

18–20

The answer does not meet the criteria for a mark in the next band.
Candidates will show a little knowledge of what the character does.
Candidates will show some knowledge of what the character does
and express some view about the reasons for action.
Candidates will show some understanding of character through the
aspects of the text referred to. There will be a little mentioning of
feelings and ideas.
Candidates will show a basic understanding of what the character
does and thinks. These ideas will show a little evidence of being
expressed in an appropriate way.
Candidates will have a sound working knowledge on which to base
their writing, which will have features of expression which are
suitable and appropriate to the character or occasion.
Candidates will have a good knowledge and understanding and be
able to use this to produce writing expressed in a way which is
largely fitting and authentic. The character will be clearly
recognisable through the voice assumed.
Candidates will use a full and assured understanding of the text to
write in a manner which expresses the thoughts, feelings and
attitudes of the character with assurance and insight. The voice
assumed will be entirely appropriate for the character.

C. Marking Notes
In this syllabus we aim at encouraging candidates to make some personal response to their
reading. This means that, while we may have legitimate expectations as to the ground most
answers may occupy, we must at all times be prepared to meet the candidates on their chosen
ground. It is to be hoped that candidates will see on occasion other possibilities. In this
examination, rigid demands for what must be in a good answer must be guarded against. The
Photostat scripts circulated during coordination will be crucial to maintaining the standard
throughout the marking.
We must try at all times to tease out what the candidate is trying to say to us. It is possible for a
candidate whose technical command of English is limited, but whose language still manages to
communicate understanding, to receive high marks. Nor should we reward fluency and display of
knowledge of literary terms if we feel there is little evidence of understanding. Remember that we
are looking for literary response, not language skills.
The notes that follow on each question are for general guidance only, and are not rigid
prescriptions of required content. They need to be used in connection with the generic
band descriptors.

© UCLES 2008

Page 4

Mark Scheme
GCE O LEVEL – May/June 2008

Syllabus
2010

Paper
01

A Small Family Business
1

To begin with, please note that the candidates are being directed to the action at the opening of
the play. The long preamble concerning the setting is being bypassed. Therefore, we should
expect answers to concentrate on the basic comic situation, which most should at least see is
based upon one of the protagonists, Jack, being oblivious of what Poppy, the hidden stage
audience and the audience itself know is going on. Jack’s randiness and Poppy’s growing
embarrassment are, of course, at the heart of the hilarity, culminating in the public exposure of
one of the couple’s fantasies. It is to be hoped that most answers will be able to delineate the
central situation without much difficulty. Differentiation should arise from the degree to which the
candidates are able to engage with the comedy and in detail show how it delivers laughter so
well.
Use the band descriptors to arrive at your mark.

2

There is a great deal of material which candidates may use for this task. After all, most of the
play posits the somewhat cynical proposition that we are all corruptible where money is
concerned or when we are under pressure. We shall expect that choices will be made from the
pool of characters who appear to have some residual concept of right and wrong. Hence, we
should not give much reward to answers which centre on Anita, for example. Jack is likely to
feature in many answers but others like Poppy, Tina, Desmond and Samantha may make an
appearance. A sensible use of such material with support should receive adequate reward but
for something better we should expect candidates to engage with the comic aspect of all this, as
the question requires.
Use the band descriptors to arrive at your mark.

3

Jack has been on a long journey. At the beginning of the play he was a man confident in his own
integrity, a man who declared that he was not ashamed to be idealistic. At the end, his final
speech simply speaks of surmounting troubles in any way possible and he has just sanctioned
the use of his business as a channel for the importing of drugs. The point, though, is that he is
unlikely to see himself as anything but the good honest Jack of old and any adequate reward
should be dependent on that being recognised. Candidates who have him in the middle of some
moral crisis will have quite missed Ayckbourn’s irony. All the way through the play he has
managed to justify to himself shifting a position of morality to one which is expedient. Indeed his
final speech is one of self congratulation and just earlier he’s still talking of rules to Poppy, which
typically causes her to call him a good man! High reward should go to answers which really
capture the depth of his self-delusion.
Use the band descriptors to arrive at your mark.

© UCLES 2008

Page 5

Mark Scheme
GCE O LEVEL – May/June 2008

Syllabus
2010

Paper
01

A Raisin in the Sun
4

The scene is powerful primarily because in it all Walter’s dreams of self-improvement and running
his own business, ‘getting out from under’, are destroyed. He has been betrayed by Willie,
because of his own stupidity, but has himself also betrayed the rest of his family by his
dishonesty in appropriating the money to his own selfish ends. Immediately following this extract
we see the effect on Mama of his cupidity and, though candidates are not specifically required to
refer to the next few lines, a sense of the impact of this news on the rest of the family will
enhance the answer. The insurance money has been a central concern since the opening of the
play. Good answers will take into account Bobo’s emotion, Walter’s attempts to rationalise what
has happened and to deceive himself that all may be well, and the increasing frenzy of his
despair, described in the stage directions. They will see this not merely as a personal tragedy for
Walter, but as a comment on the importance of dreams and ambitions, a central theme of the
play.
Use the band descriptors to arrive at your mark.

5

Ostensibly the question is asking for a comparison of George and Asegai, but candidates will also
have to consider aspects of Beneatha’s character and, as it were, to see the men from her point
of view as well as responding to the dramatist’s presentation. Beneatha seems to be using
George – right from her first mention of him she seems to have little or no respect for him and
describes him as shallow. But then Beneatha is not always an entirely sympathetic character.
He represents the successful black man in a white society, he is materialistic and has no interest
in her ambition to be a Doctor. Asegai is from Nigeria, so to her represents ‘pure’ black culture.
Good answers will point the contrasts and will also begin to evaluate the characters.
Use the band descriptors to arrive at your mark.

6

Ruth has the misfortune of being married to Walter. She is seems to be worn out, disappointed
and – at the beginning of the play – tetchy. It is obviously difficult for her to live under her Motherin-law’s roof and to be dependent. The marriage is obviously in difficulty; Walter is too
preoccupied with the promise of the money to take much notice of her and it is devastating that
his mother has to be the one to tell him about the pregnancy. This comes at the end of Act 1 and
there is an effective dramatic pause in which Ruth will be reflecting on their lives, on the impact of
the pregnancy, whether or not to keep the baby, and on her worries for the future. As ever, the
quality of the answer will be determined by the appropriateness of the voice.
Use the band descriptors to arrive at your mark.

© UCLES 2008

Page 6

Mark Scheme
GCE O LEVEL – May/June 2008

Syllabus
2010

Paper
01

The Crucible
7

In the ebb and flow of this extract, it is clear that both wish to return to what one takes to be their
previous relative ease of relationship. However, equally clearly, they cannot. Miller charts with
great sympathy the difficulty, perhaps the impossibility, of achieving that ease once trust has
been lost, particularly if one has the characteristics of John and Elizabeth Proctor. In this
passage we receive clear indications of Proctor’s passionate nature which cannot be totally
controlled. Even his guilt is passionate. His wife, given her straightforward, virtuous, not to say
rather cold nature and despite what she says, clearly has great difficulty in forgiving and easily
slips back into an accusatory stance. Some sense of the gulf between these two personalities
and the way the text shows them as struggling to achieve some rapprochement should be
enough for adequate reward. For higher reward, we should look for some grasp of how the
scene is crafted to make both characters sympathetic human beings.
Use the band descriptors to arrive at your mark.

8

There are many possible routes to answering this question. Some may focus their answer on the
obviously dramatic scenes of hysteria, in the court room for example. Others may concentrate on
the way Miller, with at times considerable irony, shows how a belief in the existence of witches
converts characters like Hale and Danforth, who Miller sometimes suggests at heart are not men
of a particularly evil and vindictive nature, here incapable of rational argument. There is one
passage where in effect Danforth asserts the trying of witches demands an approach which goes
contrary to normal justice. However, the scope for selecting relevant material is considerable.
The key to differentiation is likely to lie in the degree to which candidates bring out the vividness
of the dramatic treatment of this material. We should not be giving above adequate reward to
answers which simply describe and interpret. We must see for high reward evidence of an
understanding and appreciation of the dramatist at work.
Use the band descriptors to arrive at your mark.

9

In a way every action of Abigail in the play has been in part to save her skin and this flight is
simply the action of someone who has realised that her time is up and that she will not get the
one thing she really wants, a life with her lover, Proctor. Certainly we should give little credence
to any answer which suggests that she might be penitent. She is a spiteful and vindictive girl.
However, perhaps there is a side to her which is unable to differentiate between dissembling and
reality. As she flees, is she going to be justifying her actions by asserting that there was
witchcraft in Salem? At times Miller seems to be suggesting that her disturbed personality
causes her to experience hallucinations. One might expect an adequate assumption of the girl to
cover some of these possibilities as she justifies her actions to herself but for higher reward we
should hope that candidates will be able to create in her voice something of her vicious malice for
all who have opposed her desires, with the possible exception of Proctor.
Use the band descriptors to arrive at your mark.

© UCLES 2008

Page 7

Mark Scheme
GCE O LEVEL – May/June 2008

Syllabus
2010

Paper
01

As You Like It
10 As with all answers to questions on drama texts, response to the visual qualities of what is going
on on stage is important. The opening focuses on a dominant character, who turns out to be the
hero, expounding on his misfortunes and on his wicked brother, and this is immediately followed
up by a demonstration of the nastiness of the said brother. So, sympathy for Orlando is very
quickly established and the audience will already be partisan and will be hooked into the basic
question of how Orlando is going to get himself out of this. Good answers will begin to see how
the question of blood relationships is likely to become an issue and will begin to explore the
language of the scene. They will probably note that it is written in prose and will have different
ideas about the reasons for this. They may note the liveliness and sharpness of the way in which
Orlando uses words and the contrasting imperiousness of Oliver. The actual blow that Oliver
gives Orlando is shocking and puts the audience even more on the side of the latter.
Use the band descriptors to arrive at your mark.
11 This question may elicit lots of prepared character sketches, but answers will not be successful
unless they show a strong personal response backed up by precise reference. Like Orlando,
Rosalind is treated very unfairly at the start of the play, but does not sit about feeling sorry for
herself. Orlando has already fallen for her, and the early banter between her and Celia
demonstrates her intellect and humour, and this is carried even further in her use of disguise and
in her further dealings with Orlando. It may be that candidates feel that she is too good to be
true, but good answers will make at least some attempt at evaluation and will show awareness of
the necessity to pay attention to the writing.
Use the band descriptors to arrive at your mark.
12 More than just narrative is required from the Duke, though most answers will contain at least an
element of it. It will be more important for him to consider the benefits of the Forest as against
the Court, to consider the characters with whom he has been living, and the way in which he has
be reunited with his daughter. He may also be looking forward to a new regime, though this is
not required. As ever the quality of the answer will be determined by the appropriateness of the
voice.
Use the band descriptors to arrive at your mark.

© UCLES 2008

Page 8

Mark Scheme
GCE O LEVEL – May/June 2008

Syllabus
2010

Paper
01

Macbeth
13 The key words in this task are horror and memorable. The opportunities which Shakespeare’s
language offers the candidate to respond to the nightmare quality of this scene are legion and
therefore we should not give even adequate reward to answers which simply tell us what is going
on with a little comment about significance. We should expect candidates to be able to respond
at least in some degree to the way Shakespeare portrays the nature of the deed, the world
Macbeth has now entered and the world he has for ever left behind. It may well be that some will
also find horrifying Lady Macbeth’s apparently unimaginative imperviousness to the
consequences of murdering Duncan. High reward should, as usual, only be given to those who
can show engagement with the power of the dramatic verse together with some insight as to the
roots of its power.
Use the band descriptors to arrive at your mark.
14 There are a number of scenes or dramatic instances which bring home to the audience the
nature of life under a tyrant. The Macduff scenes spring to mind, of course, as do those which
concern Banquo’s murder. However, there are also a number of moments in which minor
characters also illustrate just how terrifying is Macbeth’s Scotland, such as the conversation
between Lennox and a lord and the role the Doctor plays in the demise of Lady Macbeth.
Therefore, it should not be difficult for candidates to find relevant material and construct at least a
worthwhile enough justification of their choice to warrant adequate reward. For anything higher,
however, the key word in the question is terrifying. We should demand for higher reward
engagement with Shakespeare’s dramatic power in some detail.
Use the band descriptors to arrive at your mark.
15 We only see Lady Macbeth once more in the play after this. The Banquet, despite it showing her
continuing ability to act decisively, has illustrated just how minimal is her influence now over her
husband and what a gulf there is between them. She was, indeed, innocent of the knowledge of
Banquo’s murder and is still, no doubt, bewildered as to the precise reason for her husband’s fits.
She will, no doubt, feel her power slipping away from her and will perhaps in her desperation
begin to sense that she has had little grasp of the consequences of regicide. Her situation now is
in no way what she expected it to be as Queen of Scotland. In differentiation it is important that
we are careful not to give much to candidates who virtually present what she says as she
sleepwalks. To the very end she refuses to admit to her conscious self the full consequences of
her actions. Here she will probably still be trying to buoy herself up, perhaps suggesting to
herself that she can get Macbeth back on track. Her scorn for his behaviour at the banquet is
evident. However, some of the better assumptions of her character may also give her a sense of
rising desperation which has also been evident in one or two remarks she has made.
Use the band descriptors to arrive at your mark.

© UCLES 2008

Page 9

Mark Scheme
GCE O LEVEL – May/June 2008

Syllabus
2010

Paper
01

Twelfth Night
16 Surely even the most unsympathetic candidate will find some pity for Malvolio here? He has
certainly behaved in an insufferably pompous way and has had the temerity to think that Olivia
would marry him, but his punishment by Sir Toby, Maria and the others goes beyond what is
reasonable. Candidates are not expected to tell the whole story of what has brought him to this
point but to focus on the words of the extract and on the way in which Feste, in the guise of Sir
Topas, treats him. Here Malvolio actually behaves with some dignity, despite his desperation and
even Sir Toby has lost his appetite for the prank. The best answers will focus closely on the
words of the extract.
Use the band descriptors to arrive at your mark.
17 This is a completely open question and enjoyment can either come through response to the
humour or to the romance. More than narrative is required – good answers will be characterised
by strong personal engagement with characters and situation and detailed support.
Use the band descriptors to arrive at your mark.
18 Viola has exhibited selfless love for Orsino throughout the play and she will be thinking of him
rather than herself no doubt, even when she has achieved what she could scarcely have hoped
for. A sense of the modesty and virtue of her character will be essential but we should allow her
some sense of triumph. Answers which merely recount events will not go very far towards
meeting the demands of the question, but Viola is entitled to feel some uncertainty over the future
especially in view of the speed with which Orsino changes his affections from Olivia. The best
answers will no doubt be able to justify this in terms of Viola’s understanding of his character.
Use the band descriptors to arrive at your mark.

© UCLES 2008


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